Author Rick Riordan opens up about how developing the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Disney+ show inspired him to write the sixth book in the series.
As fans of the franchise await the show’s arrival, author Rick Riordan reveals how adapting his work for Disney+ inspired him to write a sixth Percy Jackson book. The popularity of Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series led to two movie adaptations, a follow-up book series also about Greek mythology called The Heroes of Olympus, along with writing book series about other mythologies, including The Kane Chronicles and Magnus Chase. A hunger for more stories about Percy Jackson and mythology then led to Disney+ adapting Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series as a television show.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly about his upcoming book, Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods, Riordan shared how the story idea first came to him when working with Disney. He thought Disney might be interested in bringing a new Percy Jackson story to life, which inspired Riordan eager to create a new book for the first time in years. Disney+ chose to make the Percy Jackson show about the original books instead of adapting a new story, but the spark was lit under Riordan, and he decided to write a sixth book with Percy as the main character. Read what Riordan shared below:
“The idea for Chalice of the Gods actually started out when we were looking at the adaptation process again, and was kind of my idea to sort of pitch something that might be of interest to Disney overall as a way of saying, ‘Well, what we could do is if you guys are open to doing a new TV show, maybe I could revisit Percy and do a new Percy book for the first time in umpteen number of years.’ Turns out I didn’t need that as a pitch, but as we were going through the TV show process, I started, as you say, reconnecting with the characters and getting to know them all over again. And we started talking about what publishing could do to support the TV show. I thought back to the ideas that I had pitched for new Percy books, and that had kind of been stewing on the back burner there for a while, and it just felt like the right time. It felt like the right thing to do to celebrate Percy Jackson coming home to a new adaptation. And the story was just fun. I like the idea that Percy has a day-in-the-life adventure, and it’s not the world is at stake.”
What A New Percy Jackson Book Means For The Disney+ Show’s Future
Filming for Percy Jackson and the Olympians season 1 has been completed, and the series is currently in post-production. A release date has not been confirmed, although Walker Scobell teased Disney+’s Percy Jackson will release in late 2023 or early 2024. Scobell is playing Percy, with the main trio also including Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase and Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood. The adult cast includes Glynn Turman as Chiron, Lance Reddick as Zeus, Toby Stephens as Poseidon, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hermes.
Season 1 will consist of eight episodes that adapt the events of The Lightning Thief, the first book in the series. If the show sticks to the format of adapting one book per season, the series would go for five seasons to cover each book in Riordan’s original series. The Chalice of the Gods, however, could potentially expand those plans into a season 6. Even though the series hasn’t been released yet, a promising season 2 update from Riordan makes it seem likely that the series will continue beyond season 1.
There is plenty of material to be read or reread as audiences wait for the Disney+ series to debut, including The Chalice of the Gods, and Riordan’s other book coming out this year, The Sun and the Star, a new story about demigod couple Nico di Angelo and Will Solace that Riordan co-wrote with author Mark Oshiro. Riordan shared that Scobell is prereading The Sun and the Star, yet another sign of how much Scobell loves the character and universe he will be bringing to life. Between these books, the upcoming television series, and Riordan raving about the new actors, it is a great time to be a Percy Jackson fan.